Former Ambassador of Georgia to the EU : Ongoing developments in Ukraine could be repeated in Georgia

Hundreds of government officials have done a lot of work over the years in order the Association Agreement with the European Union to be initialed. The former Georgia’s Ambassador to the EU, Center for European Studies research associate Salome Samadashvili states.

Recall that last week, Tbilisi officially initialed an Association Agreement with the EU within the Vilnius summit.

Samadashvili notes that without these people the Vilnius summit would not take place. In her words,  it is important that despite the change as a result of  the elections, this process is successfully continued and culminated, which once again shows that Georgia’s European integration is the subject of a national consensus, and it is the nation’s choice.

Samadashvili estimates that now begins a very challenging period. In particular, a lot of work is to be done at the technical level. Nearly 450 legislative changes are to be adopted in order our legislative framework to come into compliance with the European. If a "green light" is lit, an  agreement will be signed by the European Parliament and the EU Council. As a result, the Free Trade Agreement will come into force, which is very important for our economy," says Samadashvili. 

Georgia’s former Ambassador to the European Union speaks about threats from the Russian side and says that ongoing developments in Ukraine could be repeated in Georgia. She notes that Russia may work in two directions. The first, to try to destabilize the internal political situation in Georgia and the second, there might be an attempt to influence public opinion in order to weaken the European choice’s support among voters.

Samadashvili makes claims to the new government in this regard and says that there is a very big mistake from their part , at a time when the economic situation is very difficult when the unemployment problem is not solved  and is worsening , the government is constantly talking about the Russian market opening, as about  something good. She points out  that the new government should talk less about the Russian market and talk more about benefits  the free trade agreement with Europe will bring  to  the people," says Samadashvili .

The second claim concerns a visa free regime. As Samadashvili states,  Georgia has not reached the expected results at  the Vilnius summit. "When we started the implementation of an action plan on a visa-free travel as early as two years ago , we planned that this action plan would be  fully implemented by the Vilnius Summit and a decision on a visa-free travel would be adopted. In other words, the process would begin," Samadashvili adds .

According to the Chairman of the Committee on Sector Economy Zurab Tkemaladze, a move  taken towards the Association Agreement with the EU is very important. In his words, then we need to set the plans, which is to be fulfilled, a lot of things are to be done. Not only from legal , but also from a practical standpoint.

As for the Free Trade Agreement,  Tkemaladze  says that  it imposes an mutual obligation on both parties. Therefore, an agreement must be studied carefully and analyzed.

Tkemaladze does not rule out certain threats from Russia and notes that the most important the government to do what is good for the country.

Adapted from Сommersant